US Marine Fred Vigil Reno-Sparks Indian Colony
Reno-Sparks Indian Colony
U.S. Marine and Native American Fred Vigil plays his traditional flute at a Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Veterans Day Celebration.

Annual Veterans Day Celebration in Reno to Give Special Thanks to Women

Reno-Sparks Indian Colony

According to the former Assistant United States Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Dr. Tommy Sowers, Native Americans have the highest rate of enlistment into the armed services of any ethnicity in the United States. That national statistic rings true at the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony.

“Our people have answered and continue to answer the call to duty,” said Arlan D. Melendez, Chairman of the RSIC. “Our warriors defended the United States more than any other ethnicity because we have been here since time immemorial and this truly is our homeland.”

Currently, the RSIC, a tribe of just over 1,100 members, has 54 living veterans, which includes six female soldiers, seven tribal employees, plus five members currently serving in active duty—84 RSIC veterans have passed.

As part of National American Indian Heritage Month and to recognize all Native U.S. servicemen and women, the RSIC will celebrate and honor its veterans with an extravagant parade entry to the annual City of Reno Veterans Parade followed by its annual community dinner at 6 p.m., at the RSIC gymnasium.

“Our Veterans Day community dinner is one of our biggest yearly celebrations,” Melendez said. “We will reflect on the sacrifices made by our service men and women and on this Veterans Day, we give special recognition to the women in the military.”

This year’s keynote speaker will be Victoria Parker, a Western Shoshone Native American from the RSIC. Parker is a staff sergeant with the U.S. Army. After graduating from high school, Parker enlisted and has served as a gunner during Operation Iraqi Freedom III and later as a team and squad leader during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006-08.

The program for the RSIC Veterans community dinner is outlined below:

Presentation and Posting of Colors

Welcome & Opening Prayer—Chairman Arlan D. Melendez

Native Prayer—Eagle Wings Dance Group

Flag Song—Natalia Chacon, Little Miss Numaga 2014-15

National Anthem—Chelsea O’Daye

Keynote Speaker—Victoria Parker, U.S. Army


Special Recognition of Women in the Military

Recognition & Presentation to Our Living Veterans

Honor Song—Toby & Jamie Stump

Recognition of All Deceased Veterans

Tribute to the Military

Closing TAPS—Fred Vigil on the flute

The RSIC was established in the early 1900s and formed a federally recognized government in 1934 under the Indian Reorganization Act. Located in Reno, Nevada, the RSIC consists of over 1,000 members from three Great Basin Tribes—the Paiute, the Shoshone, and the Washo and provides essential services to over 7,000 Natives. The reservation lands consist of the original 28-acre Colony located in central west Reno and another 1,920 acres in Hungry Valley, which is 19 miles north of the Colony and west of Spanish Springs, Nevada, nestled in scenic Eagle Canyon.

For more information about the Veterans Day Celebration or any of the Native American Heritage Month events, contact Montooth at 775-842-2902 or at [email protected].

Below is a complete listing of all the programs for Native American Heritage Month.

Entry for Reno Veterans Day Parade

Date: Tuesday, November 11 at 9:30 a.m.

Location: Washo County Court House Parking Lot

Contact: Verna Nuno, (775) 329-2936, Ext. 3257

Veterans Day Celebration & Dinner

Date: Tuesday, November 11 at 6 pm

Location: RSIC Reno Gym

Contact: Verna Nuno, (775) 329-2936, Ext. 3257

UNR’s Center for Student Cultural Diversity,

We Tell Stories - Storytelling Event: AIAN Scholarship Banquet & Fundraiser

Date: Wednesday, November 12 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Location: Joe Crowley Student Union, Ballroom C

Contact: Saundra Mitrovich, (775) 682-6499

Rock Your Mocs Contest

Date: Friday, November 14 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Location: RSIC Library

Contact: Adrianna Gutierrez, (775) 785-1320

Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe

Native American Heritage Month Celebration

Date: Saturday, November 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: Pyramid Lake Museum

Contact: Pyramid Lake Museum, (775) 574-1088

Nevada Indian Commission

American Indian Achievement Awards

Date: Saturday, November 15 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Location: Governor’s Mansion, Carson City, Nevada

Contact: Chris Gibbons, (775) 687-8333

UNR Center for Student Cultural Diversity

Native Athlete Banquet Honoring & Fundraiser

Date: Tuesday, November 18 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Location: Joe Crowley Student Union

Contact: Saundra Mitrovich, (775) 682-6499

Reno-Sparks Indian Colony

People of the Great Basin Gallery Exhibit & Poetry Contest

Date: Thursday, November 20 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Location: RSIC Tribal Health Center

Contact: Trisha Calabaza, (775) 329-8802

Reno-Sparks Indian Colony

November-fest ‘14 Holiday Craft Fair

Date: Friday, November 21 and 22 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Location: Reno Gym

Contact: Henrietta Tobey, (775) 276-3253

Reno-Sparks Indian Colony

Native Bling Contest

Date: Tuesday, November 25 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Location: Library

Contact: Adrianna Gutierrez, (775) 785-1320

Reno-Sparks Indian Colony

Eagle Wings Annual After Thanksgiving

Native American Arts & Craft Fair

Date: Friday, November 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Location: RSIC Reno Gym

Contact: Janice Gardipe, (775) 329-6114 or Lois Kane, (775) 425-3804

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